Job fair in Dunedin for sacked Cadbury workers

It will be a tough Christmas for the employees Cadbury is leaving behind, as it closes its iconic Dunedin factory.

The chocolate factory has put 230 employees out of work at Christmas, with 140 to follow before April.

Its electricians, engineers and factory workers packed out an employment expo on Saturday, hunting for a new job.

"Because I've done manufacturing for so long, it's just like a second nature, but I've got options open to see, maybe trying something new," said worker Nancy Flaherty.

The job fair comes as Cadbury moves production of its iconic treats, including Pineapple Lumps and Jaffas, to Australia.

To pay the bills, many will have to change their occupation, or move out of town.

"We've got wine production, we've got cleaning, we've got hospitality, we've got security, we've got a number of franchise companies, we've got a whole range of things available," said Emma Hamilton from the Ministry of Social Development.

The local business community is doing what it can to help, and 52 businesses showed up to the fair.

Cadbury is also doing what it can, retraining employees and helping to craft their CVs.

"In the last six months, we've worked through over 4500 hours of training of our staff to actually help them gain qualifications," said Cadbury Dunedin site manager Judith Mair.

But unless there are some quick job offers, the soon to be unemployed workers still face a stressful Christmas.